12 Things Restaurants Should Be Tweeting About

As a restaurant staffer, I suppose it’s a little daunting to sit down at your computer, open up Twitter, and stare blankly at the screen.  “What should I post today?”  You know people want to hear from you, and you have great info to share, but you are stuck.

It’s very much like what most people experience nightly about 6pm, when they open the cupboards/refrigerator and wonder “what’s for dinner tonight?”  They are staring down a host of ingredients – or maybe just a random few! – and have no idea how to put them together into a delicious meal for themselves.

As a restaurant marketing and social media consultant, I help restaurants create interesting, entertaining and relevant content for Twitter, Facebook, et al.  To help ease you into a daily tweeting practice (yes, daily!),  I’d like to present 12 things you “should” be tweeting about as a restaurant.  Treat these dozen ideas as ingredients, if you will, mixing and matching and creating a twitter “recipe” du jour that works for your restaurant.

It’s simply not enough to tweet your “soup/slice/scoop of the day” and assume your customers/followers have gotten their fill.  Nor is it satisfying to tweet just a couple times per week and think you are maintaining the top of mind awareness every restaurant needs to thrive.  People eat 3-4 times a day (at least!) so use that as your guide to how often your followers want a tidbit from you!

12 Things Restaurants Should Be Tweeting About


1. Take us behind the scenes  We want to see “behind the curtain”, so tell us about your employees, what was delivered fresh today, post a photo about what the kitchen looks like during prep, post a video about your newest menu item, link to your latest blog post


Yarmuth Farms cheese-fed pig on menu while supplies last! http://t.co/Gyco1KtK (note to our vegetarian friends, ehhh, don’t click through.)
@thewalrusbar
Walrus and Carpenter

2. Highlight your ingredients Tell us where you shop and source your ingredients, mention local vendors you purchase from, share what’s new and fresh and seasonal, remind us of your sustainable/organic/local/gluten free menu choices and philosophy


We think GMO labeling is the biggest deal in food – what are your thoughts? http://t.co/RkXIr9NM
@homegrownian
Homegrown

3. Share culinary trends – Provide links to articles that showcase your restaurant point of view, comment on “national trend” articles like ‘what’s hot in 2013′, share your ideas/opinions on whether cameras should be allowed in the dining room (!)


@ Thank you for making the trip, and thank you @ for recommending us!

4. Provide customer service Respond to diner feedback (take problems offline), thank diners for coming in, answer questions about the menu or ingredients, ask for suggestions or favorites people might be interested in


Kick off the romantic month of February with @‘s #Chocofest on the 10th. Tickets http://t.co/5zXXrn9V http://t.co/LWzcRJej
@ARTRestaurant
ART Restaurant

5. Comment on current local/national events Show that you care about more than just your restaurant by mentioning other activities in your neighborhood, show your civic pride by mentioning local sports teams, congratulate neighboring businesses on successes,  comment on the big festival downtown this weekend, talk about holiday happenings


Linda’s will be closed tonight for our annual staff holiday party! Come see us tomorrow for our annual staff hangover day!
@Lindastavern
Linda’s Tavern

6. Tell us about changes  Let us know if your hours have changed, highlight chef/staff changes, give updates to your menu (we hate to visit your website to track this down!), entice us to drop everything and come down to the restaurant to try the fresh fish that just arrived five minutes ago!


@ Thank you for making the trip, and thank you @ for recommending us!

7. Build relationships  Spend time replying to guests who’ve tweeted about their recent visit, share food blogger articles, comment on or retweet media articles, tweet  happy birthday wishes to a follower or extend congratulations for an award


Locally-made French-style butter is the secret to our croissants! Mention this tweet for one free plain croissant, today only 1/20/13.
@GrandCentralSEA
Grand Central Bakery

8. Offer exclusive deals  Give your twitter followers a special that no one else knows about, give a secret word/code to mention when they come in for the deal (and track that traffic!)


First #photohint for today’s @ special! What do you think we’re making? http://t.co/ESKSvRN0
@KurtDammeier
Kurt Dammeier

9. Ask a Question  Engage your followers by asking questions, do a survey, solicit their feedback on a menu item, encourage conversation!


Our best table on Valentine’s Day! We’re auctioning it off to raise money for Matt Farrer’s battle with cancer. BID! http://t.co/3Jmb8X0h
@canlis
Canlis

10. Share events  Help promote local events you are participating in, invite us to special events at your restaurant that we might now have heard about


Little baby Flynn ready for game day. Rocking the onesie I made him! He is side #beastmode !! @ #goh http://t.co/ZGl1nZEJ
@RN74Seattle
RN74Seattle

11. Get personal Share what you/your staff does outside of work, show us that you aren’t all work and no play (post photos!),  talk about other interests outside of food


Thanks to all who voted for us. You guys rock. Salud! Readers Vote: 10 Best Happy Hours – Eater Maps – Eater Seattle http://t.co/ni7NES0w
@TheSaintSocial
The Saint

12. Share good news Mention your awards/honors/reviews/accomplishments since your followers might not have heard about them yet, retweet good media coverage, make announcements about upcoming news or events

Do you need help creating delicious messages and creative content for your restaurant twitter account?  I’m ready when you are…

 

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6 Responses to “12 Things Restaurants Should Be Tweeting About”

  1. Judy Lee Dunn February 1, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

    Karen,

    How appropriate to the topic of your post. I just found out about it from a tweet that just came through my stream. : )

    I absolutely love these 12 tips. You know, some of these I used to recommend to realtors who blog. I think that all bloggers will find something to take away from this post, if they just tweak the tip to make it apply to their industry/topics.

    I especially like #5 because it shows people that the restaurant is connected to the community and a part of it. I’m also fond of #9, the curiosity factor. Questions are good to promote engagement and interaction.

    Nice blog! : )

  2. Karen Rosenzweig February 1, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

    Thanks Judy! I completely agree that this can be modified for most any profession – thanks for stopping by!

  3. Michael February 4, 2013 at 8:27 am #

    Hi Karen, just found your blog and I love the info you provide. I actually think the tips are relevant far beyond just restaurants – really any business could use them!

  4. Karen Rosenzweig February 4, 2013 at 9:39 am #

    Thanks Michael – love your website! I especially like the video on home page :)

  5. Michael February 5, 2013 at 8:47 am #

    Thanks, Karen! It was fun to create!

  6. Holly February 7, 2013 at 6:23 am #

    Great tips and examples, Karen. Everyone can use a little tweetspiration and you’ve provided lots of actionable ideas.

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